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Study Aims To Measure Economic Impact Of Tri-State's Black-Owned Businesses

Tana Weingartner
BlaCk Coffee is an example of one of the businesses the African American Chamber aims to inlude in the study.

The second phase of a study to determine the economic impact of Black-owned businesses in the Tri-State is about to begin. The Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky African American Chamber of Commerce and the UC Economics Center are working together on this first of its kind review.Black-owned businesses have until Sept. 30 to email their business name and addressto the Economics Center in order to be included. The center will then use that information to compile data and arrive at an economic impact figure.

Chamber President Eric Kearney says the study will be beneficial to the entire community.

"This data can be used to attract new businesses to the Greater Cincinnati area," Kearney says. "It can be used to retain businesses in the area - if the number is smaller than we anticipate that means that we need to pay more attention to these businesses. It will provide guidance for some of our larger, Fortune 500 companies who are part of the Billion Dollar Roundtable to support certain businesses. It will also help government officials to determine whether the spending patterns that they're currently using are appropriate to the situation. It will also help with employment numbers and growth in that particular area."

Kearney believes this could be the first study of its kind in the country. He began calling around for advice on how other cities may have compiled similar data but found no one had undertaken such an effort.

Around 500 businesses have submitted their information, he says, acknowledging there are still others who have not. No business is too small, Kearney says, so don't let that deter you from participating.

"Going forward, what we can do is maybe next year or maybe in two years, we'll revisit the study - try it again - and then we can determine whether business have grown; if they have, are they more robust?"

Kearney expects to have results before Thanksgiving.

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.